by Melanie

91 things to do with your leftover Easter ham

April 4, 2015 in Kitchen by Melanie

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hamleftovers


I love Easter – everything about it. And like all fabulous holidays, an amazing feast is always part of the celebration. We always have a big ham and potato meal with carrots, green beans, rolls, jello salad, some dessert, and anything else we feel like tossing on the table. My favorite is the ham. yummmmm

After enjoying the feast together, we always end up with a bunch of leftovers. Cooking with those leftovers is another one of my favorite things about Easter. Check out these recipes that will make your leftover Easter ham shine like new.

hamleftovers1Monte Cristo • She Wears Many Hats

Creamy Ham Potato Corn Chowder • Cooking Classy

BBQ Ham & Pineapple Kabobs • Goodeness Gracious

Stovetop Cheesy Broccoli Rice with Ham • Buns In My Oven

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Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches • Flying on Jess Fuel

Pasta Carbonara • Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Ham & Cheese Skillet • Goodeness Gracious

Ham Scallion and Cheddar Muffins • A Beautiful Bite

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Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche • Women Living Well Ministries

Ham and Cheese Egg Muffins • Mommy’s Menu

Cheesy Ham and Potato Bacon Casserole • Oh, Sweet Basil

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake • Lovely Little Kitchen

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Breakfast Pizza with Hash Brown Crust • The Gunny Sack

Ham and Cheese Scones • A Beautiful Bite

{Overnight} Ham, Egg, and Cheese Monkey Bread • The Seasoned Mom

Better than Takeout Ham Fried Rice • The Recipe Critic

hamleftovers5

Ham and Pineapple Kabobs • Goodeness Gracious

Broccoli Cheddar Hashbrown Casserole with Ham • It’s Yummi

Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup • Six Sisters’ Stuff

One-Dish Skillet Peas, Ham, and Creamy Noodles • Kevin and Amanda

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Hawaiian One Pan Pasta • Taste and Tell Blog

Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad • Family Fresh Meals

Family Favorite Breakfast Burritos • Natasha’s Kitchen

Twice Baked Potato Casserole • Mom On Time Out

hamleftovers7

Ham and Mac and Cheese Lunchbox Muffins • I Should Be Mopping the Floor

Ham and Cheese Cauliflower Fritters • All Day I Dream About Food

Ham, Swiss, and Jalapeno Stuffed Pretzels • Baker By Nature

Croque Monsieurs • Savury and Sweet

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Spicy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Ham • Flamingo Toes

Mini Ham and Bacon Cheddar Cups • Creative Savings

{Overnight} Ham and Cheese Breakfast Enchiladas • The Girl Who Ate Everything

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup • Spend with Pennies

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Loaded Baked Potato Casserole • Rachel Schultz

Cheesy Baked Penne • Recipe Girl

Ham, Broccoli, and Cheese Quiche • Cooking During Stolen  Moments

Hawaiian Grilled Cheese • House of Yumm

hamleftovers10

Ranch Pasta Salad • Mrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen

Herbed Crepes with Eggs, Swiss, Ham, and Browned Butter • Cooking Classy

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Quinoa Bites • Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Ham and Swiss Croissant Sliders with Poppy Seed Dressing • Homemade Cravings

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Ham and Cheese Breakfast Pockets • Lemon Tree Dwelling

Mini Quiche Bites • Poet in the Pantry

Red Potato and Ham Casserole • Six Sisters’ Stuff

Cowboy Quiche • The Pioneer Woman

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Chicken and Ham Wild Rice Soup • The Gunny Sack

Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup • Cupcake Diaries

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese with Ham • Plain Chicken

Cordon Bleu Pizza • Recipes, Food, and Cooking

hamleftovers13

Ham, Egg, and Avocado Breakfast Burrito • Tone and Tighten

Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins • Kalyn’s Kitchen

Ham Pot Pie • Krista’s Kitchen

Easy Freezer Ham and Bean Soup • Living Well Spending Less

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Ham and Cheese Bowties • Julie’s Eats and Treats

Ham and Cheese Waffles • Blue-Eyed Bakers

Queso Broccoli Potato Chowder • Southern Living

Potato, Ham, and Broccoli Cheese Soup • Lovebugs and Postcards

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Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Rice Skillet • Hot Eats and Cool Reads

One-Skillet Ham and Cheese Gnocchi • Jo Cooks

Ham and Swiss Hash Brown Bake • Very Best Baking

Creamy Shells and Ham Casserole • Taste and Tell

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French Toast Grilled Cheese Sandwich • Brown Sugar

Breakfast Spaghetti {for dinner} • The Makeshift Nest

Ribbons and Bows Pasta Salad • Will Cook for Smiles

Ham, Apple, and Brie Quesadillas • Vinobaby’s Voice

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Ham and Cheese Mac and Cheese Bites • Virtually Homemade

Mashed Potato Pie with Ham, Peas, Cheese, and Chives • The English Kitchen

Ham and Egg Salad • Plain Chicken

Cheesy Hash Brown and Egg Breakfast Casserole • Natasha’s Kitchen

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Chili and Cheese Ham Strata • The Girl Who Ate Everything

Mississippi Sin • Plain Chicken

Broccoli Scalloped Potatoes • Taste of Home

Ham Salad • A Family Feast

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Slow Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup • Destination Delish

Italian Ham Pasta Salad • Sarah Titus

Ham and Cheese Potato Pancakes • Buns In My Oven

Linguine Casserole • Julie’s Eats and Treats

hamleftovers20

Overnight Ham Casserole • Very Culinary

Creamy Spring Gnocchi • Dinner Dishes and Desserts

Ham Sliders with Sriracha Hoisin Mayo • The Lemon Bowl

Ham and Broccoli Pasta Bake • Taste and Tell

hamleftovers21

Hawaiian Scrambled Eggs • Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Ham and Cheese Crescent Bake • Taste and Tell

Brazilian Cheese Bread • Autumn Makes and Does

Potato, Ham, and Quiche Crescent Mini Quiches • Mom On Time Out

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Ham Gouda and Potato Bake for the Crock Pot • Kitchen Meets Girl

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Ham and Potato Soup • Julie’s Eats and Treats

Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescent Rolls • Mom On Time Out

Breakfast for Dinner Hashbrown Casserole • Weary Chef

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Ham and Cheese Lasagna • The Kitchen Is My Playground

Chicken Cordon Bleu Cups • High Heels and Grills

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bars • Mom On Time Out

Are you drooling yet? Seriously, so much yummy ham goodness, how could I possibly decide? I have a great idea – let’s get together! We’ll all try our favorite recipe and bring it to share. Then we can try them all! Who’s in?

Or just tell me in the comments what you tried and how much you love it!

Need more leftover upgrades? Check out 76 ways to make your leftover turkey amazing!

turkey-pin

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by Melanie

9 Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

March 28, 2015 in Linen Closet by Melanie

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I’m not gonna lie. I hate cleaning. Really, really, really hate cleaning. But I do love having things clean and organized, and somebody’s got to do it.

Spring seemed like the perfect time to try to get a little more organized. It is called Spring Cleaning after all. We’ll call it a fresh start for the house and the homemaker.

I rounded up 9 cleaning and organizing tips and tricks to help me get started.

spring-cleaning-roundup


6 Tips for Organizing Closets • Mommy Envy

Household Cleaning Tips and Tricks • xo, lauren & jane

Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets • Stuffed Suitcase

The Cleaning Benefits of Vinegar – 7 Ways I Use Vinegar to Clean • A Vision to Remember

How to Clean a White Seat • Crafting in the Rain

How to Keep Your House Clean All Year Long • The Things I L♥ve Most

Stress Free Spring Cleaning • For What It’s Worth

Organization Tip: Tackling the Corded Mess Under Your Computer • Creations by Kara

Spring Cleaning Family Style • Organized Island

 

Here are a few more cleaning and organization tips you should take a look at!

My kids really struggle to keep their rooms clean. Oh, let’s be real here – so do I. This simple chart full of pictures helps my kiddos get the job done without getting overwhelmed by the mess in the room! I should make one for me.

clean-your-room-chart

Organize your kids’ school clothes like this and make your mornings run a lot smoother. No more mad dash to get out the door!

school-clothes

Do you have any great cleaning or organizing tips for me? I need some help!

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by Melanie

LDS General Conference Giveaway

March 25, 2015 in Mailbox by Melanie

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Spring General Conference Giveaway - $400+ in Prizes

It’s spring time which means General Conference will be here before we know it. Seventeen LDS Bloggers are joining me to share a few of our favorite things. We are so excited to be giving away over $400 in prizes. It’s been a treat to work with so many talented women to spoil our readers with products that strengthen the family and make our lives a little easier, too.

We as bloggers are so thankful for you – our readers! Thank you for your encouragement, comments, and time that you take out of your busy day to check in with us. We appreciate how you #sharethegood with us and hopefully we can share some with you as well!

Meet the bloggers who are taking part in this giveaway:

LDS Bloggers

Now for the giveaway! If you are anything like me, your wish list for Deseret Book is a mile long! We are excited to send two of you some fun money to spend there. We hope you love the recipes from the Six Sisters as much as we do and that Nicole Carpenter’s 5-minute messages will make family devotional more manageable! From bulking up your food storage with Thrive to the cutest projects by Fizzy Pops – there are so many wonderful prizes. Check them out and ENTER TO WIN below! There are TWO rafflecopters so be sure to enter each one!

Spring General Conference Giveaway - Over $400 in Prizes!

Prize Package #1

$85 Gift Card to Deseret Book

$50 Gift Card to Sweet Salt Clothing

Fizzy Pops Young Women Zipper Pull Kit ($50 value) with

YW Value Bottle Cap Printables from My Computer is My Canvas

Six Sisters Stuff Cookbook

52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family from MOMentity.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spring General Conference Giveaway - Over $400 in Prizes!

Prize Package #2

$85 Gift Card to Deseret Book

$75 value Food Storage Package from Thrive

Six Sisters Stuff Cookbook

$50 Gift Card to Sego Lily Soap

Doodle Journal for General Conference by A Lively Hope

Pink Star CTR Necklace and I am a Child of God Pin from Ringmasters

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be announced and e-mailed April 2.

We’ve compiled a few of our favorite General Conference Activities, Recipes, and Ideas. Comment with your favorite traditions or add a link below!

LDS General Conference Activities and Ideas


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by Melanie

Top 13 Tips for an Incredible Disneyland Vacation

March 23, 2015 in Out the Door by Melanie

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I have been to Disneyland more times than I can count – with a few Disney World trips thrown in there, too – and I love it! I have been with my family as a kid, with friends as a teenager, with my own kids as a parent, with huge groups of extended family, with a small group of mom friends running away from home for a few days, and with my husband as just the two of us.

So much Disney fun in one little photo

So much Disney fun in one little photo

When my brother and I were 11 and 12, my dad went on a business trip to Anaheim and took us with him. In the morning he handed us $100 and pointed us in the direction of the park, and we had an absolute blast just the two of us at Disneyland for a few days. Can you even imagine doing that with your kids today? Can you imagine doing it for $100?

I love Disneyland so much that when it came time to plan our honeymoon, Steve and I decided Disneyland would be our destination. It was his first visit ever… and he hated it. Don’t be fooled by the smile he plastered on for the camera. He really hated it. How could anyone hate Disneyland??? And how did I, of all people, end up marrying a Disneyland hater?

honeymoondl

We were babies!

Fast forward about 7 years. Steve was coming home from a long deployment and we wanted to do something special as a family to celebrate being together again. Naturally I suggested Disneyland, and was surprised when he agreed. Yay! There is something magical about seeing Disneyland through the eyes of a child, and that magic changed how Steve saw Disneyland, too.

Now he gets just as excited about going to Disneyland as I do. In fact, the night before our trip in January, he woke up at 2 am because he was too excited to sleep. So we loaded up the car with luggage and sleeping children, and started driving a few hours earlier than we had planned and had that many more hours in the park when we got there!

We have become experts at doing Disney exactly the way we like, and it’s incredible. Here are a few tips for you to have an INCREDIBLE Disneyland vacation of your own.

Top 13 Tips for an INCREDIBLE Disneyland Vacation

1 – Get free tickets

Find your favorite rewards program and save up your points. We love the Disney Rewards Visa because it gives us Disney points that we use to buy our tickets. The first time we redeemed our points, we bought 6 Disneyland Annual Passports for only $100 out of pocket – the rest was with points. Six annual passes for $100!!!

You don’t have to choose free tickets as your reward. You can use your Disney Rewards for food or souvenirs in the parks, travel to and from the park, hotel rooms… or you can go with an entirely different rewards card. I love being rewarded for spending money we would have spent anyway!

2 – Location, location, location

Stay close to the park. There are so many great deals available at the hotels near Disneyland Resort, and the convenience of being right there is priceless! Our favorite place to stay is right across the street on Harbor Blvd. Every night when masses of crowds are being herded to the tram station, I am always ridiculously glad we’re walking the other way. By the time they finally make it back to their cars, I’m already in bed.

sleeping

Completely exhausted after a day of fun… not waiting for a tram.

 

3 – Book EARLY

The earlier you can book your trip, the better deal you can find on your hotel. I learned how important this tip is that year we bought 6 Annual Passes for $100. In January we were talking about potential vacation dates. When we looked at hotel prices, I was amazed to find them much lower than I expected. We weren’t positive those dates would work, so we planned to book the hotel when we knew for sure. A few months later when we were finally making the reservations, the prices had gone up significantly and I was bummed we hadn’t reserved them earlier.

We have annual passes again this year, and I learned my lesson last time. We chose potential vacation dates early and reserved our rooms. The cancellation policy at our hotel lets us cancel without penalty as long as we do it before a certain date, so we plan to cancel any reservation we end up not being able to use. A few weeks after we made our reservations, the hotel increased their prices and it didn’t affect us at all. Yay! I love saving money.

We just had a big family reunion at Disneyland last week, and I booked the hotel months ago. A few weeks before the reunion, I looked at possibly changing our room and discovered the suites I booked several months ago would cost us $500 more if I booked them now. Don’t wait until the last minute to book your hotel if you can help it.

2017packagesnowavailgat

4 – Choose your dates WISELY

We have been to Disneyland at every time of year, and I definitely have my favorite times to go. Make sure you look at a planning calendar and know what you’re getting into.

Off-season has shorter hours, more ride closures, and less entertainment, but the crowds are smaller and the lines are shorter. Peak season has longer hours, less closed rides, and more entertainment, but the huge crowds can be suffocating and you can spend your whole day waiting in long, long lines.

You just have to decide what is more important to you and plan accordingly. I like to look at the annual pass blockout date calendars and avoid any day that is blocked out, and that helps us visit on the smaller crowd days that we like.

This is my kind of crowd!

This is my kind of crowd!

5 – Pack for success

My packing list probably includes a lot of things that others may not think to pack, but they’re important to me. For example, my over-developed sense of smell is my super power, so I always bring air freshener for the hotel. All those people sharing that small space and limited bathrooms? Ew. My favorites, Pure Citrus Orange and Febreeze, work better than anything else I have found — and believe me, I’ve looked.

Sunscreen, chapstick, and band-aids are a must, but the First Aid Center on Main Street is great if you end up needing something you didn’t bring like a band-aid or pain killer or even an ice pack. I don’t go anywhere without Ziploc bags. Ever. Definitely don’t forget your sunglasses like I did last time. Ouch. And remember it’s cool in the mornings and evenings in Anaheim, so bring a sweatshirt or light jacket.

6 – Tame the Laundry

I can deal with a lot of gross things as a mom, but dirty clothes totally gross me out. I don’t want to touch them, so I get a cheap pop-up clothes hamper and bring it to the hotel. Everyone knows where their dirty clothes belong and we don’t end up with stinky socks hanging from lamp shades and stuffed under beds.

When the hamper gets full, I dump all the clothes into a garbage bag, tie it off, and it’s ready to pack in the car for the drive home. I like to stock up on these hampers at Dollar Tree. When they don’t have them in the store, I have found I can order them online with free shipping to the store. You can also find them on Amazon for a few bucks.

7 – Eat at the hotel

We like to stay at a hotel that offers free breakfast in the morning, which is great, but when it comes to saving money on food we don’t stop there. Feeding my family one meal at Disneyland generally costs us anywhere from $60 to $100, and that’s not even at a table service restaurant.

So we save money by taking advantage of the fridge and microwave in our hotel room. We bring food from home and only eat one meal in the park every day.

We have a few favorite meals, like this Chicken Taco Pasta Salad, that are perfect for making at home and eating at the hotel. It’s nice to have something healthier than amusement park food, and we feel a lot better by the end of the week than if we had eaten more junk. It’s totally worth the pre-trip prep time when we have a nice homemade dinner at the touch of a button.

My kiddos are kind of obsessed with drinking their milk and juice through those lids.

My kiddos love the hotel breakfast, and they’re kind of obsessed with drinking their milk and juice through those hot beverage lids.

8 – Be a restaurant stalker

Spending your hard earned money on a meal and getting something that doesn’t resemble what you thought you were paying for does not make for a happy vacation. Even if you didn’t research food options before you left home, you can still find out what you’ll be getting before you spend your money.

Stand back for a bit and watch what the other guests’ trays look like. Knowing the portions are HUGE can help you save money by splitting meals. Seeing the size of the kids meal can help you decide which of your kids will actually get full and which might need something bigger.

You can also ask the cast members for advice – they’re very friendly and helpful. I like to know exactly what we’re ordering by the time we step up to the counter so we’re not holding up the line.

If you want to get even more serious about knowing what you’re getting and how much you’ll be paying, you can look at menus complete with prices for all the food in Disneyland, even the snack carts.

9 – Don’t lose track of time

Sometimes we start getting cranky and short with each other and I wonder why we can’t just get along. We’re at the Happiest Place on Earth for crying out loud! Then I look at my watch and realize it’s 3 pm and we haven’t had lunch yet. Yikes!

We snack throughout the day from our handy-dandy stroller, so no one is starving to death, but we’re definitely happier when we remember meal times. Of course, restaurant lines in the park are longest at peak meal times, so eat at little earlier or later if you can. Just be sure you don’t let hours and hours go by before you feed your hungry crew.

10 – Don’t be a pack mule

My kids are past the stroller stage of life. It’s totally awesome. But I freaked out a little in January when I realized we were going to Disneyland without a reason to push around a stroller. Where would we keep our snacks and water bottles? Was I going to have to lug around a giant backpack all day?

Who says you have to have a small kid to push around a stroller? I know it may sound nuts, but this was seriously the smartest thing we did on our last trip (after getting free tickets and booking our hotel early and eating at the hotel… oh, you get the idea).

We brought a cheap umbrella stroller from home and a great tote bag. We filled the bag with our snacks and water bottles, bandaids, extra sunscreen, and anything else we just couldn’t do without at the park and sat it in the stroller. Then we filled a backpack with sweatshirts for the chilly mornings and evenings and tossed that on there, too.

We hung our souvenir popcorn buckets from the handles – which we refilled in the hotel room with microwave popcorn we brought from home… Voila! Instant pack mule! Just park it with the rest of the strollers and you’ve got everything you need for a day at Disney without the heavy load.

She's adorable with her cute smile and ridiculous socks, but also this is what getting there early and going during the off season looks like. We're practically alone in the park!

She’s adorable with her cute smile and ridiculous socks. She was so excited to push the stroller like a big kid!

11 – Save on souvenirs

Souvenirs at the park are expensive. They just are. But it’s also fun to get something to remind you of your fabulous vacation or your favorite character. We give the kids gift cards for Christmas/birthdays when we have a trip planned, so they’ve got some money to spend. They know when that money is gone, so is their ability to buy stuff. They have learned about looking around and deciding exactly what they want to get so they’re not spending all their money on the first thing they see.

We also get discounts with our Disney credit card and annual pass, so we make sure to take advantage of those discounts.

We also love to save money by bringing some souvenirs with us from home. We find fun Disney shirts on sale or make our own to wear at the parks. We make crafty jewelry we can wear. We found these adorable Minnie ears on the birthday aisle at Walmart for less than $5. Basic Minnie headbands are $22 at the parks! Chuck wore these all around Disneyland and felt so cool – and I loved that we saved a bunch of money.

If you have young kids who love to dress up, definitely bring the dress-up clothes. We had a fabulous Cinderella dress that a 2-year-old Chuck wore around Disneyland and felt like a princess. And of course, she got treated like one, too.

12 – Get there early

You will be amazed at how much you can do in the first hour the park is open. We have been able to do ALL of Fantasyland or several E-ticket rides in that first hour just by getting there early. Also watch for early morning admission. Definitely take advantage of that time if your ticket comes with it.

When we met up with my brother after his early morning admission, he had already taken his kids on 10 rides and the park hadn’t even been open for an hour! Early morning admission is at California Adventure on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and at Disneyland on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. If your ticket doesn’t include that early morning, start in the other park for smaller crowds.

Another view of a cute Chuck pushing the stroller just to show what it looks like when you get there early and go during off-peak times. We're practically alone in the park!

Another view of a cute Chuck pushing the stroller just to show what it looks like when you get there early and go during less busy times. We’re practically alone in the park!

13 – Relax and enjoy

You will enjoy your Disneyland vacation a lot more if you can relax and be flexible. Don’t try to stick to a strict ride schedule or spend every moment from Rope Drop to the last store closing on Main Street in the park going full speed.

We are often on our way to a ride a kid has requested and see a short line at a ride we love and make a quick detour to ride it. We sit down and watch a show or go back to the hotel for lunch when we need a break. Even though we like to get there early, we let the kids sleep in when they need it.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and styles of vacationing, and we work together to make it an INCREDIBLE Disneyland vacation for everyone!

Do you have any INCREDIBLE Disneyland vacation tips to share?

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by Melanie

16 Eggs-cellent Easter Ideas

March 21, 2015 in Family Room, Guest Room by Melanie

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Easter is right around the corner, and I have gathered a fabulous batch of Easter recipes, crafts, and ideas to help you plan your Easter celebration.

easter-roundup


Broccoli Ham Ring • Forty Eighteen

Easter Egg Hunt Quiet Book Activity • Mommy Envy

What to put in your toddler’s {candy-free} Easter basket • xo, lauren & jane

Family Fun Easter Scavenger Hunt • Stuffed Suitcase

Stenciled Easter Sign • Occasionally Crafty

Easter Paper Carrot Garland • A Sparkle of Genius

Easter Egg Wreath Tutorial • A Vision to Remember

DIY Stenciled Easter Sign • The Happy Scraps

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Springtime Chips • Mirlandra’s Kitchen

Weight Watchers Easter Recipes • Simple Nourished Living

Oreo Bunny Truffles • Key Lime Digital Designs

Easter Nest Rice Krispie Treats • The Things I Love Most

How to Make a Chocolate Nest • I Really Love Chocolate

Book Page Easter Egg Banner • Creations by Kara

Baymax Easter Eggs and Chalkboard Paint Easter Eggs • R & R Workshop

I love Easter! This Broccoli Ham Ring is one of my favorite things to make with our leftover Easter ham.

ham-broccoli-ring

I always include these Brown Sugar Carrots as part of our Easter feast.

carrots

These amazing Cherry Cheesecake Bars would be a perfect Easter dessert.

cherry cheese bars

How do you celebrate Easter?

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